Payment is the most critical part of being a creator and the biggest pain point. It’s an administrative burden, causes problems in workflows with companies, and risks sabotaging a creator’s income and wellbeing. According to a study that surveyed 750 creators in the US and UK, 87% of creators said they don’t get paid on time or correctly. Yikes! We’ll go over the checklist for creators to follow so they can make sure they get paid in full, on time, every time.
When it comes to getting paid, the first rule of offense is defense. In the initial negotiating phase of the brand deal, make sure the payment terms are clearly stated in your agreement. The industry standard is net-30, which means 30 days after your content is posted. Always try to negotiate for net 30 or less - this way, there is enough time for you to collect meaningful analytics but not so much time passes that it’s forgotten altogether.
Getting paid and chasing payments is a series of administrative tasks, so the biggest way you can help yourself is by using tools that automate these processes for you.
There are three main areas where tools can help you:
1. Invoicing (don’t have to start from scratch every time, automatically pull in your relevant data, send automatic follow ups)
Beacons has an Invoicing Tool that allows users to create a visually stunning PDF that you can send directly to brands. All you need to do is type in your info, the brand’s contact info, and send! There is a built-in invoicing timeline so that you can track every move your invoice makes after it’s sent and send brands automatic follow up reminders.
2. Early Pay (request early payout so you don’t have to wait)
Early Pay is a tool for creators on Beacons that helps alleviate the burden of late payments. With Early Pay, Beacons will pay you upfront and follow up with the brands on your behalf so that you don’t have to deal with the whole process.
3. Tracking payments and due dates (being organized so you don’t forget about a payment you’re owed)
If you prefer to chase payments yourself, here are some tips:
We suggest sending a few reminders:
- A short ‘upcoming payment’ notice a few days prior to due date
- A quick reminder email on the due date
- A polite email requesting overdue payment 1 week past due date
- A serious reminder 2-3 weeks after the due date
If the payment is a few days late, we suggest giving it more time. Companies are busy too, and billing errors are common—give brands the benefit of the doubt. However, beyond a few days, you should feel empowered to speak up! We'll break down exactly how to do that below.
Once your payment is a week late, don't be shy about following up! Here is an example template that you can send to remind your contractor of the payment due.
This is a friendly reminder that I haven't received payment for the attached invoice attach invoice. According to our contract, the payment was due on [Due Date]. You can send the payment via [Method] as we originally discussed. Let me know if you have any other problems or questions. Looking forward to hearing back!
If sending reminders to your contact doesn’t work, we suggest looking for other contacts at the company.
- If your contact within the company isn’t responding, look for another relevant person to involve - this can be their assistant, the accounting team, someone else who was involved or CCed on the project, or their manager. Where to look for this information:
- Company website
- Try calling their offices and/or DM their socials (Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn)
- Reach out to your network and start asking around - what are other influencer’s experiences?
Send a final stern reminder before taking legal action. Here is an example of a message you could send:
Subject: URGENT – Final notice for [Your Name or Invoice#]
This will be my last notice regarding [Invoice#] that was originally due on [Date]. Your payment is now [days] late.
I request your immediate action to resolve this issue as soon as possible. If the invoice is not paid within one week [or your requested date] after this notice, I will be forced to take legal action soon.
Please confirm your payment details with me if you have any further questions.
According to the same study, 36% of creators said they’d increased their rates to compensate for payment issues, 31% had hired someone to help them with administrative tasks, and 35% said they’d stopped working with a company due to payment issues. Don’t let this be you—use the right tools to stay on top of your payments!